We learned in early July that the small town of Dover, Arkansas was considering an ordinance that would regulate the ownership of pit bull-type dogs within the city limits. The first reading of the ordinance was held at the regular city council meeting on July 2, 2013. At that time, the Aldermen voted to hold the ordinance for 30 days, and then take the second, and possibly final vote, at their next meeting on Tuesday, August 6, 2013.
The proposed ordinance would place strict regulations on all dogs considered to be “pit bulls,” and would prohibit any new pit bulls from living in the city. The ordinance specifically states it is applicable to “any dog that has been registered as a pit bull, referred to as such, or that is defined or identified as a dog belonging to any of the pit bull dog breeds,” and includes the following:
• American Pit Bull Terrier
• Staffordshire Bull Terrier
• American Staffordshire Bull Terrier
• American Bull Dog.
The ordinance includes a number of restrictions that would have to be met in order to maintain ownership or “handling rights” to any pit bull. Those restrictions can be found in our previous blog here, Failure to comply with the ordinance would result in the immediate seizure of the pit bull and revocation of the right to a license to own said dog. It will be regarded as a misdemeanor, punishable with a fine no less than $150 and no more than $500.
I spoke with the city clerk this afternoon, and the council did not vote on the ordinance at this week’s meeting. Instead, the aldermen are still finalizing the language and making some “minor changes.” Those changes do not include the removal of the breed specific language. If the changes are completed in time, the issue will be on the September 3 meeting agenda. This means we have an additional month to work with city officials and share with them information regarding the many problems associated with BSL.
With that in mind, please send your polite, respectful and informative opposition to breed specific legislation to the Dover city officials, as well as viable alternatives and suggestions for their consideration. We recommend providing a copy of the NAIA publication, “A Guide to Constructing Successful, Pet Friendly ordinances.” The guide has some excellent points that would help strengthen and improve the city’s current ordinance.
Talking points and alternatives to breed specific legislation can be found here.
Individual contact information for the city aldermen is not available, but you may send your correspondence via the City Treasurer/Recorder, Regina Kilgore, with a polite request to forward on to each aldermen.
Mayor Patrick Johnson
City of Dover
8904 Market Street
Dover, AR 72837